To help welcome children in primary aged groups back to school, we’ve put together ten free resources. These can be used at home to support your child with different areas of learning.
Area of learning: Managing stress and worries
The start of the new school year can be stressful and worrying for children. Whether it’s starting a new school, changing teacher, changing routine, or even changing classroom. It can all be a lot to manage.
The Mindfulness Teacher has fantastic calming videos that you can follow along. They are quite short, so you won’t need to spend lots of time practicing them and they are fun to do together. The videos include great techniques you can refer to during times of stress and worry for both you and your child.
Area of learning: Phonics
Alphablocks is a fantastic CBeebies resource which demonstrates how to segment (breaking up) and blend (putting back together) words. Reading using phonics was not the way all parents were taught to read, so can seem a little confusing. Having a basic knowledge of how to pronounce sounds can really help your child when you hear them read.
Alphablocks have fantastic instructional videos on how to say individual sounds, segment words and blend. There is even a specific section for parents with extra information about phonics and early reading.
Finally, there are full episodes that your child can watch. If you find out what sound they are working on at school, you can even match it to their current learning.
Area of learning: Writing
Resource: Give writing a purpose!
Give writing a purpose. This makes writing feel like less of a chore, gives it an end goal, and can sometimes have an exciting response at the end. Remember, all writing practice is good practice. No matter how long or short.
- Write a postcard to a family member (and actually put it in the post box).
- Re-write a story or chapter in your own words and send it to the author. I have done this lots of times on Twitter/ X You often get a response from the author- which is super exciting.
- Ask your child to help you write the shopping list for the supermarket (you can also get them to tick it off as they go to practice their reading skills)
- Record a recipe while you’re making something. These short bursts of writing will make it seem achievable and kids don’t feel like it’s taking up a lot of time. E.g. Add in the flour- “Can you write down Add 500g of flour for me.”
- Create a scrap book about a holiday, special event or about themselves. It could be a joint project that you add to with your child. It means you can practice short bursts of writing, with a clear end goal, and the responsibility isn’t all on them.
Area of learning: Maths- Written methods
As your child progresses through Primary School, the methods they use to solve problems can become complicated. Often, they are different to the methods we were taught at school.
If your child is finding a written method difficult to grasp, there’s a few things, you can do to support them…
- Talk positively about Maths– Even if it’s a subject you don’t love, talking positively can help a child see the purpose in learning it.
- Check the school’s calculation policy– Every school does things slightly differently. Check the calculation policy to see what methods they use to solve problems. This should be available on the school’s website. If not, ask the maths leader at the school to look at it.
- Watch YouTube clips together– There are lots of brilliant ‘learn-with-me’ YouTube channels, like Math with Mr J, that give you step by step instructions on how to solve different problems. You can watch it first and then help your child, or you could watch together and make it a fun learning experience for both of you!
Area of learning: Grammar Terminology
Resource: Oxford Owl Grammar Glossary
When learning grammar, kids are always taught the correct grammatical terminology. Again, this is fairly new to the National Curriculum and not always the easiest to remember. It can definitely make supporting your child with homework tricky!
The Oxford Owl Grammar Glossary explains the different grammatical terms kids will be taught at school. As well as easy to understand definitions, there are some instructional videos and activities to help your child practice at home.
Area of learning: Fine Motor Skills
Little Happy Learners is an Instagram page run by Sophie David, a qualified teacher and EYFS specialist. Her page includes lots of amazing ideas for young children aged 0-6 on how to develop fine motor skills, including pencil grip. Her page also has lots of amazing ideas for other areas of learning too, including phonics, maths, writing and even cooking.
Area of learning: Reading
Reading practice is definitely not top of every child’s favourite-things-to-do list. Audio books can be a great way to expose kids to adventurous vocabulary, exciting sentence structures and imaginative ideas that they can use in their writing. Audio books also model appropriate pace, intonation and variation of voice when reading.
Storynory is a website that has lots of amazing free audiobooks, ranging from traditional tales to poems. It’s a great way to trial audiobooks with your child without committing to a monthly subscription.
Area of learning: Times Tables
Resource: ICT Games: Hit the Button
The Government have introduced a statutory assessment at the end of Year 4. It tests kids’ times tables recall through 25 timed questions, with 6 seconds to answer each one.
A really fun way to practice is using the Hit The Button game on Topmarks . The game shows a times table question and multiple answers. You need to hit the correct answer to win a point. It’s a great way to practice answering at speed, you can even go head-to-head with your child to see who can answer first!
Area of learning: Handwriting Practice
Resource: ICT Games: Writing Repeater
Correct letter formation and joined handwriting are all statements in the National Curriculum.
This fantastic tool can help you model letter formation and letter joins to your child. It’s probably easier to use on an iPad as you will be able to use your finger rather than a cursor to draw the letters. Once finished, hit play and it will repeat your letter formation slowly. This means your child can watch it back to understand where and how their pencil should be moving. Just double check you are following your school’s handwriting policy, as some joins and letter formation can vary.
Area of learning: Touch Typing
Resource: BBC Dance Mat
As we all know, using technology is an integral part of our everyday lives. Even in schools, kids are increasingly using laptops, Chromebooks and tablets to complete their learning.
Learning to touch type can increase a child’s confidence when completing work digitally. BBC Dance Mat has an easy-to-follow program that will allow kids to develop their touch typing skills. Each stage progresses in difficulty and speed, and even includes a range of catchy tunes (enjoy!)
We’ve recently spoken to Sophie David, founder of Little Happy Learners about her successful Instagram Page, Website and Book. Little Happy Learners is a platform for parents and educators of children aged 0-6 that aims to support children’s development at home and in Early Years settings.